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Robust Learning Stability with Operational Monetary Policy Rules

  • George W. Evans

    ()

  • Seppo Honkapohja

    ()

We consider “robust stability†of a rational expectations equilibrium, which we define as stability under discounted (constant gain) least-squares learning, for a range of gain parameters. We find that for operational forms of policy rules, i.e. rules that do not depend on contemporaneous values of endogenous aggregate variables, many interest-rate rules do not exhibit robust stability. We consider a variety of interest-rate rules, including instrument rules, optimal reaction functions under discretion or commitment, and rules that approximate optimal policy under commitment. For some reaction functions we allow for an interest-rate stabilization motive in the policy objective. The expectations-based rules proposed in Evans and Honkapohja (2003, 2006) deliver robust learning stability. In contrast, many proposed alternatives become unstable under learning even at small values of the gain parameter.

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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200719.

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Date of creation: 15 Oct 2007
Date of revision: 15 Jan 2008
Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0719
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
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  1. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2000. "Timeless Perspectives vs. Discretionary Monetary Policy In Forward-Looking Models," NBER Working Papers 7915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Monetary policy, expectations and commitment," Working Paper Series 0124, European Central Bank.
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  4. Duffy, John & Xiao, Wei, 2004. "The value of interest rate stabilization polices when agents are learning," Working Papers 2004-02, University of New Orleans, Department of Economics and Finance.
  5. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  6. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja & Noah Williams, 2005. "Generalized Stochastic Gradient Learning," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-17, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 18 May 2008.
  7. Fabio Milani, 2007. "Learning and Time-Varying Macroeconomic Volatility," Working Papers 070802, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  8. Honkapohja, S. & Evans, G.W., 2000. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 481, Department of Economics.
  9. Wiliam Branch & George W. Evans, 2005. "A Simple Recursive Forecasting Model," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-3, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Feb 2005.
  10. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2008. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Rersearch," CEPR Discussion Papers 6640, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
  12. Sergey Slobodyan & Anna Bogomolova, & Dmitri Kolyuzhnov, 2006. "Stochastic Gradient versus Recursive Least Squares Learning," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp309, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  13. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Learning and Macroeconomics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 421-451, 05.
  14. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2002. "Adaptive Learning and Monetary Policy Design," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-18, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 04 Mar 2004.
  15. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(0), pages 1-35, Supplemen.
  16. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, . "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 51, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Adaptive Learning and Inflation Persistence," Working Papers 050607, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  18. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 9884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  20. Evans George W. & Guesnerie Roger, 1993. "Rationalizability, Strong Rationality, and Expectational Stability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 632-646, October.
  21. James B. Bullard, 2006. "The learnability criterion and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 203-217.
  22. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
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